Complaint Handling Policy
As a firm authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), EstateGuru Marketplace Ltd (EG) is required to handle complaints promptly and fairly in accordance with the rules set out in the FCA’s Handbook of rules and guidance within Section 1 of the Dispute Resolution: Complaints sourcebook (DISP). These are available at https://www.handbook.fca.org.uk/handbook/DISP/1/?view=chapter.
EG treats as a complaint any oral or written expression of dissatisfaction, whether justified or not, from, or on behalf of, a person about the provision of, or failure to provide, a financial service or a redress determination, which alleges that the complainant has suffered (or may suffer) financial loss, material distress or material inconvenience, and relates to an activity of EG which comes under the jurisdiction of the Financial Ombudsman Service.
In this instance, ‘redress determination’ is a written communication from EG to the complainant which: (a) sets out the results of our investigation; (b) provides access to The Financial Ombudsman Service's standard explanatory leaflet; and (c) informs the complainant that if they are still dissatisfied, they may then make a complaint to The Financial Ombudsman Service and must do so within six months.
Under the FCA Rules, an eligible complainant is someone who, at the time the complaint was received by EG, is:
(1) a consumer (any natural person acting for purposes outside his trade, business or profession);
(2) a micro-enterprise (an organisation that employs fewer than 10 persons and has a turnover or annual balance sheet that does not exceed £2 million);
(3) a charity which has an annual income of less than £1 million;
(4) a trustee of a trust which has a net asset value of less than £1 million. However, EG will generally apply this Complaint Handling Policy to all users registered on its peer-to-peer lending platform.
The rules and guidance at www.handbook.fca.org.uk/handbook/DISP/3/?view=chapter set out the procedures of the Financial Ombudsman Service, including how complaints are dealt with.
All complaints are recorded and logged in our Complaints Register and referred to the nominated complaints handler in accordance with our Complaint Handling Procedure. Any complaint received from a third-party representative such as Trading Standards or Citizens Advice will be immediately referred to the nominated complaints handler.
This Complaint Handling Procedure is available to anyone who visits the EG Website and will be made available in writing upon request.
- How a complaint may be made:
We allow a complaint to be made by the methods detailed below or by completing our website form at https://.
We will automatically send an acknowledgement by email of any complaint received this way. In accordance with the FCA requirement in DISP 1.3.2(1)G, complaints may also be made via the following channels:
A complaint received by telephone, email or post will be acknowledged by close of business on the business day following the day on which it is received. It is our intention to resolve all complaints by close of business on the third business day following the day on which they are received. If that is not possible, we shall endeavour to issue a final response to the complainant by the end of eight weeks after receipt of the complaint. The content of the final response will include the details of the investigation conducted by the Head of Compliance, as well as detailing remedial action where applicable.
We provide details for the Financial Ombudsman Service when issuing a final response, or after eight weeks of receipt of the complaint if we have been unable to provide a final response in that time. If a customer is not satisfied with our final response, or if a complaint is not resolved after eight weeks, the customer may refer the complaint to The Financial Ombudsman Service (see section 6 below for details of how to contact them).
We have the option of providing consent to The Financial Ombudsman Service to consider complaints outside the 6-month deadline. However, our consent must be given for this to occur. Our consent will be determined on a case-by-case basis and may vary depending on the subject matter of the complaint.
- Complaints Investigation
Our final response will highlight the action taken to investigate the complaint and the findings. The nominated complaints handler will at all times be responsible for the investigation of complaints. If appropriate, assistance will be sought from other parts of EG or any relevant third party.
The complaint will be assessed with fairly, consistently and promptly. The investigation will be conducted impartially.
- Root Cause Analysis
The nominated complaints handler will examine all complaints for a root cause, and consider where these root causes may also affect other processes and products, including those not directly complained of, and identify any changes to systems and procedures that would prevent recurrence of the cause for complaint.
Where feasible, such changes will be implemented by EG as soon as possible and where appropriate, we will change our training and development to avoid similar issues in the future. A review of our Complaints Register will be undertaken on a monthly basis by the Board of Directors in conjunction with the Head of Compliance, in accordance with FCA DISP 1.3.3BG.
- Trend Analysis
Each month the Head of Compliance will submit to the Board of Directors a report detailing the number of complaints received, the resolution or otherwise of those complaints, and sufficient analysis to enable the Board to understand the causes of those complaints, including any trends which may exist within those complaints.
- Complaints Register
EG will maintain a Complaints Register, which will be the subject of periodic review.
A lack of complaints recorded may indicate that staff do not recognise what a complaint is or have concerns that recording a complaint may reflect negatively upon themselves.
Our management will make clear that complaints play a positive role in furthering the organisation and may be seen as a valuable tool for future products or development of services.
- The Financial Ombudsman Service
The Financial Ombudsman Service is a free independent service set up by Parliament to intervene in disputes between customers and financial institutions when agreement cannot be reached between them. The Financial Ombudsman Service requires that a complaint is first raised with EG before being referred to them and can assist complainants with that first approach.
As part of our complaint handling service EG must make a complainant aware of their right to approach the Financial Ombudsman Service. EG has up to eight weeks to deal with the complaint after which, if the complainant is still unhappy, they may contact the Financial Ombudsman Service as follows:
0800 023 4 567
0300123 9 123
Online Form: https://help.financial-ombudsman.org.uk/help
Post: The Financial Ombudsman Service,